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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Grief is not about "me"

I have been moping around all day. I have tried not to let this be apparent, but I arrived at work today in tears and left in tears. Nothing happened. I am just sad.

Whenever this happens, I question, "Am I depressed?" Depression runs in my family. The answer? Nope. Not depressed. Just sad. A little too close to tears. A feeing that I need to spend time alone and with God. Feeling somewhat contemplative, somewhat pensive...somewhat....ive...apparently.

Then I realized...I miss my Dad. He passed away 11 years ago as of January 3rd, and always, this time of year I'm a little out of sorts. I remember Dad all year, but somehow, at this time of year, around the anniversary of his death, the grief renews a little.

I feel that edge biting into me, reminding me of a person who is no longer with us.

I remember getting the news and the odd feeling of emptiness and the need to take care of business. I remember moving my stuff down to campus as I had just returned from study abroad and because of the funeral, I would be starting late. I remember calling the Registrar's office to let them know of the death in the family delaying my start, but assuring them I would still be there that semester.

Dad's life ended...mine went on. And the need to go through this process, to set up for my ongoing life, was in part a form of denial for me.

"...if I pretend that all is well, then Dad will be ok and I'll get to tell him about my trip..."

My parents divorced when I was 8 and for only a little while we lived in the same state. Growing up was about weekends with Dad, until Grandpa died...then Dad moved out of state.

I had not seen my Dad for about 3 1/2 years- the last time I saw him was the day of my high school graduation.

I will never forget the funeral or our final goodbye. And ever since that time, tears come more easily to me. I have suffered this wound, and whenever I meet someone with the same wound, I am better able to empathize with them. Their pain is also my pain, to a different degree.

And as much as this grief hurts, as much as this wound seems to "bleed", I rejoice, because I can *feel* this. I know that I still grieve because I loved. We do not mourn those we did not love.

Grief is a testament to love, and as such, it is not about "us". It is about love. It is about God. It is about the fact that a life existed on this earth and that life was valuable...and so there was love.

Sometimes I want so badly to call up "dear old Dad" and tell him about my day, about my customers, about my achievements and my asipirations. I want to hear him laugh, I want to hear him joke, and I really do want to hear his praise.

But I don't, because there is no one to call. So I direct this to Heaven, and I pray for the repose of Dad's soul.

Did you notice all the "I want" in reference to grief? Doesn't grief seem selfish?

But it's not...because it's about the person who is missed. It's about the person who had such an effect on others on earth that the end of their life left a hole somewhere.

Now, I don't want to read a bunch of condolences. Dad died 10 years ago, and no, I'll never be "over it" until I'm dead. I loved my Dad, and I still love my Dad because God made him with an immortal soul. No matter where his soul resides, I love him, just as you love those of your own beloved who have gone before you.

Do not come to me expressing your sorrow for my loss. My sorrow is my own and it is between only God and I and Dad and I. Rather than express sorrow, express joy for the gift of life in everyone around you.

Consider those who are close to you and especially those who are estranged. Reconcile if you can, and if you can't, then spend extra time in prayer for them and for yourself.

Give Thanks to God for those in your life, and make sure the time you have with them is valuable. Generate memories.

Our own lives are fleeting. Sure, we grieve for our losses, but we also grieve because we cannot be where the dead have gone.

Celebrate life at all stages, and as you do so, realize that you are celebrating God.

Remember that grief is not about you....when you are grieved, remember the love...and be comforted.

God bless you all!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Name that HERESY!

I have decided to familiarize myself with common heretical movements of history. We all realize that after 2000 years, nothing is really new anymore...the attacks against the faith, rather, just morph into a different version of some old lie.

So! Are you ready to NAME THAT HERESY?

Ok, here goes....

What is Arianism?

a. The belief in "White Power" involving white hoods, secret rituals, cross burning, and circular symbols.
b. People who believed in supporting people from a Middle Eastern country
c. The belief that Jesus was a created being
d. The belief that Jesus was white

What do Gnostics believe?

a. The Gnostics believed in drinking Gnost during various pagan holidays
b. The Gnostics believed that that Agnostics were against them. Dan Brown wrote a story about their blood feud and blamed it on the legend of Pope Joan.
c. Gnosticism taught that the only good things were physical reality and denied the divnity and existance of God.
d. Gnosticism was a belief that created things were "bad" and that Jesus Christ was not human.

Why were the Montanists like early Charismatics and what did they do wrong?
a. They emphasized the gifts of tongues and prophesy and claimed them to be above Church teaching
b. They were rigid traditionalists
c. They believed that Montanus was the foretold Paraclete
d. They taught that Jesus was coming and, boy, was he MAD!

((disclaimer: the above is NOT a rip on charismatics. The Charismatic movement is NOT heretical )))

What did Iconoclasts do to tick off the Church?
a. they were extremely klutzy
b. they released bulls in 7th and 8th Century china shops
c. They destroyed icons in the misguided belief that it was sinful to create pictures and statues of Christ.
d. They decorated Roman and Greek temples with statuary depicting pagan idols.

What doctrine did Jansenius rewrite and what are his followers called?

a. Jansenius redefined swimsuits centuries before their time. We can still buy Janson swimwear at various sports shops, especially those that specialize in water sports.
b. Jansenius redefined the doctrine of grace. He denied that Christ died for the sins of all, but rather, died only for the "saved" or "elect".
c. Jansenius redefined the idea of "Theotokos" (God-bearer) and wrote that Mary only carried the human nature of Jesus in her womb.
d. Jansenius taught that only French should be used if Latin was not.

What were the 11th Century heresies?

a. Catharism- they believed that the world was created by an evil being
b. Albigensians - they believed that a good god created the spirit, so this was good, but that the body was created by an evil god. Having children was seen as the greatest evil. They were precursors to Planned Parenthood.
c. Pelatianism - he denied the doctrine of original sin
d. all of the above
e. none of the above
f. a and b
g. c only

Well, folks, I'm pretty tired, with all that thinking...and I'm going to end there. Look for more in this series.

If you don't know the answers, check out the following link:

All answers and then some can be found at

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas!

I just realized that since I did not blog for a few days, I also never wished you all a Merry Christmas.


God Bles you and yours and may the love of Christ be adundant in your lives. May you always walk embraced by the light of the Christ child.

You have GOT to be KIDDING!

I learned something today which kind of took my by surprise.

The Emperor Nero used to use greyhounds (yes, GREYHOUNDS) to kill Christians.

I have a greyhound, and as I read this, I looked at my dog stretched out, his usual lazy self, all over the livingroom floor, happily snoozing away. Hard to imagine that cream puff being set on my heels.

If you are not familiar with the breed, they have quite an interesting history. They are a breet of sighthounds, bred to see their prey and go after it - quickly. Greyhounds have been known to run 43 miles per hour (as compared to a conditioned Thoroughbred racehorse's 38-40 mph). They are docile, sweet natured, lazy, loving, couch potatoes.

They have big eyes and cocky, curious ears. Their skin is tissue-paper thin and they have absolutely no body fat or ability to deal with the elements. They were bred to be hunting dogs, to be pampered, and collected for reasons of status.

And now they are raced, retired, and some...euthanized if their "useful" life is finished. My guy is retired from racing and gets to live his life out in relative luxury. I don't intend to feed him Christians, though. I may spoil him, but I draw the line there.

Nero apparently decided to martyr Christians through the use of these dogs. Of course, greyhounds being greyhounds, were not interested in eating Christians. They likely approached the Christians curiously, tails wagging, rather seeking treats and attention. I imagine Nero must have blown steam from his ears at the sight of the early Christians laughing at this parody of a "dangerous animal".

But Nero was evil, and so he "dressed" the Christians in rabbit skins (likely bloody ones) and this drove the dogs into their hunting frenzy.

Now, as docile as my dog is, I know that if he were chasing a rabbit, there would not be much left of the creature if I ever caught up to them. When theya re racing they wear protect each other. When these dogs get competetive, they see only the chase and God help any dog or person who gets in their way. This is what they are bred to be.

So Nero had to be sneaky and he had to trick the dogs into going after humans.

I have to wonder if this eventually meant that the dogs went after him? I like the idea of that "ending".

But I digress.

I still look at my couch potatoe...uh...greyhound...blissfully napping on a pillow, and I still have difficulty seeing this delicate breed used as a killing machine against our spiritual ancestors.

Don't blame the dogs, folks. Dogs don't kill people....people use dogs to kill people.

And greyhounds these days? They just chase lures and then kill marshmallows and other biscuits. Nothing for Christians to fear. So here's my plug...if you have a heart open to another pet, check into this breed. Run a search for Greyhound Pets of America (I think it's

Feel free to drop a note if you'd like more info on these dogs and I'll be happy to provide some info and resources.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sacrament of Confession

Reconciliation. To become reconciled. To make amends.

In this the last week of the blessed penitential season of Advent, it's time to focus on the coming of Christ. It's time to prepare our souls and turn our focus (if we haven't already) to the Lord.

I love the sacrament of Confession. As much as I used to dread it, and as much as I used to shake in my shoes at the thought of it, I now approach with awe. I can't say that I especially like accusing myself of all sorts of things (of which I am definitely guilty), but I go.

I go even if I don't feel penitential. I go because I know I have sinned and I need healing. I go because if I stay away from the sacrament when I have done wrong, I will not learn and I will not encounter the grace needed to overcome my weaknesses.

I go because I am a sinner. God help me, I'm a sinner.

And I am in need of his grace.

And so are all of you. We are all in need of God's grace and of his healing. Maybe you're a random person reading this blog today and maybe you need to know that God's mercy awaits you...he is waiting for your turn of heart. He is waiting for you to admit that you have done wrong somewhere in your life and that you are in need of his grace.

Jesus is waiting in the confessional with outstretched arms, not waiting to condemn, but to express his joy at our reconciliation. To welcome us home and to wipe our tears.

I have experienced incredible grace through this sacrament. When I had been non-practicing for years and years (about twelve or so), I was terrified, tearful, and blubbering. I don't know what I expected....for God to reach out of the heavens and smack me with a flyswatter perhaps?

But just the same, I was fearful. I stood in line at an Easter penance service/ individual reconciliation, just looking for absolution. Looking for God. Looking for the faith of my youth. I stood there, terrified, but knowing it was time to admit that I had offended the Lord.

The priest did not look at me in shock when he heard my tearful confession but rather, he welcomed me home. He calmed my fears, and speaking in the person of Christ, he absolved me of my sins. I left that day a new person and my tears had turned to tears of joy.

Unfortunately, I didn't go to confession again for about 2 or 3 strong the world pulls us away, and I could not get over my own concupiscience...I could not make myself go to Confession when I knew I would sin again.

Finally, I went, and this time I had made a real firm prupose of amendment...and included in that was regular confession.

What I have begun to notice now, though, is that sometimes I doubt my own purpose of amendment, one of the necessary ingredients for true absolution.

Most recently, I went in to confession, still feeling somewhat defiant. I knew I needed to go, however, because intellectually, I knew that what I had done was wrong. I went in and set the scene to exlain my sin, and I confessed that I was not sorry. As I spoke, the tears came, the repentence came...and I felt crushed by the weight of my own sin.

I admitted to father somewhat sheepishly, "OK, I guess I am sorry..."

So often, I have recieved absolution, and I have questioned it. Am I really forgiven? What if I did not sufficiently confess? What if I'm not sorry enough?

But always, always, I know I am cleansed. I know that God has forgiven my sinning heart and he has wiped the stain from my soul...and that finally, I am free...and joyfully thank the Lord for this grace of the sacrament. The grace of God's forgiveness. The knowledge that God loves us all so much that he has provided a way for us to overcome our constant sins. To cleanse our souls.

We are so in need of God's mercy.

So today, if you have been away for awhile, find a confession near you. Make an appointment with your parish priest, and explain to him that Jesus is calling you to prepare for his coming. Explain that you are in need of God's grace and you need to come home to be with the Lord who loves you.

Don't be joyful, and come home.

May the grace of the Lord, Jesus Christ be with you, now and forever.

God Bless you and yours this Christmas season.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Sound of Music

I grew up on this movie...every year, when it was on, we gathered around the TV and we sang along with Maria and the Von Trapp family. I remember playing the soundtrack record (yes, record), and dancing in our large livingroom. I must have driven my mother crazy.

I know my brother thought I was crazy. But when Maria sang to her beau, I was her, and I was leaping from bench to bench, blaring out, "I am 16 going on 17...", having NO IDEA what that song was about...but I didn't care.

Incidentally, I also listed to Peter, Paul, and Mary, and danced to their record over and over again as well.

My Mom was REALLY not entertained by that, but she left me alone.

Contrary to popular opinion at the time, I did not become a ballet family couldn't afford to pay for the lessons and in reality, I honestly dont' think my genes are appropriate for that particular venue.

Thank God I'm not a dancer...although, now, as an adult, watching "The Sound of Music" for the first time in many many years....I DO find myself thinking that it would be just smashing to take lessons in ballroom dancing.

If I become a nun, this skill is likely to become useless to me...and if I get married...well, likewise. But a girl can dream, can't she?

Excuse me...I have some dancing to do...

"So long! Farewell! I'll even say Adieu...!"

Friday, December 16, 2005

Culture Shock

I spent half of my Junior year at college in Mexico, living with a host family in the very large city of Puebla, which is situated approximately 2 hours southeast of Mexico City.

I still see those months as the best and most valuable time of my life thus far. Three months out of thirty-one years and counting.

They provided much preparation for the differences in culture before we headed down...we discussed the weather, appropriate dress, "Mexican time", class and OUR duties as students, our the culture shock we would experience when we re-entered the atmosphere of the United States.

We remained in Mexico City for three days, during which time it rained on us and we thought we had left the sun behind. But we did see the sun again on the day we visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Amazing how she always points to her son...and that day was no exception.

But I digress. I remember our arrival in Puebla, sitting in the classroom after taking our Spanish placement exams, waiting like little orphan puppies for our host families to claim us.

"Who belongs to V.R.?" came the call. I stood nervously and left my new group of friends, still waiting to be claimed.

My host mother greeted me with a hug and assisted me in getting my baggage to her car. She asked me how much Spanish I had studied an explained that the girl who had stayed with them 2 years prior spoke very little, so she got used to using hand signals to convey what she was trying to say. I was actually grateful for this, for although I'd studied for 6 years, I was so lost and confused, my American brain so muddled, that intellectually I felt I had regressed to infancy.

She drove me to their home, chatting all the while...I barely understood a word. She was careful to enunciate, she pointed when she could and patiently repeated questions, words, or whatever I didn't understand. I was terrified and she knew it, God bless that dear lady!

We arrived and she showed me to my room, and around the house. She asked me if I'd eaten. Yes. She offered me food anyway. I had learned that I really could not refuse...this was their hospitality and if I didn't eat she'd think I was sick..or worse..rude. So as stuffed as I was from 2 Ham and Cheese croissants, hot chocolate and churros, I agreed to a...ham and cheese sandwich. (sanwich de jamon y queso). And bottled water.

Over the next few months, I came to call Mexico "home" and barely even remembered the conveniences and comfort of my American life. I didn't miss the things I thought I would miss and quickly became used to using the language...and excelled. Of course, I HAD to family didn't speak English and they wouldn't let me get away with fudging answers when I clearly did not understand the questions.

While I was there we traveled on study trips and I had to give a report on tomb 7 of Monte Alban in Oaxaca, all of the material for which was in very difficult Spanish...but somehow, I managed. I worked with women and men in prostitution as my practicum, a social services ministry called "Municipal Program for the Defense of Human Rights".

I saw cops who carried sawed off shotguns and learned from an ex-cop, as he told me very matter-of-factly that it was for shooting into crowds so they could kill more people with one shot.

I obtained a whole new view of the world and of the people contained within...and I rejoiced at every turn at God's creation. Although the trip was often difficult, it was also rewarding.

When it came time to leave, I did not want to go home. I had converted to Mexico..and in spirit, I was Mexican. I loved the country, I loved the people. I found God there, although I really didn't initially recognize this.

They had warned us about re-entry to the US, but it wasn't enough. There was no way to really tell us how to handle what happened upon our return.

Yes, we were greeted at the airport with open arms and smiling faces. We were welcomed to family gatherings and greeted with "Welcome back stateside" by relatives in military forces.

But the hardest question to answer was "How was Mexico? How was your trip."

The ONLY way to answer was, "How much time do you have and how open are you to a different culture?" But that's not what I said. I told them, "It was home."

Initially, I hated the United States. I hated the materialism and longed for the simplicity of the life we lived down south of the border. I was quickly bored with the sea of white faces, and blending in again to this culture that matched the blandness of the color of our skin.

Where was the color? Where was the understanding? Where were the people I left in Mexico, and how were they doing?

You may be asking what had happened to me?

I'll tell you. Some of it was frustration. I thought that when I returned to the US, everything would be the same and there would be things to catch up on. I thought the world would have moved on somehow. I thought things would have changed in three months.

Nothing changed. It was like coming out of the wardrobe from Narnia back to the spare room ("Spare Oom in War Drobe). Nothing changed. Nothing changed.

NOTHING changed.

Everyone was the same that they had been...but I had changed. I had come to see life with new eyes. I had come to understand things that I had never before understood. I had come to learn that the world is smaller than I had thought...and that my town and state were still smaller.

I had seen glories of creation I never thought I would see, and I discovered doors that I never knew existed...but I had no way to convey this because it is not just intellectual and experential social, or political, but spiritual.

I saw clearly what I had left...and had I not had to finish college, I would have immediately returned to that life I had so recently flown from.

For the longest time, that itch to return to Mexico burned within me, to minister to God's own children...but I had to bide my time.

And the longer I bided, the further I re-entered into American life.

But every so often, I long for Mexico, I long to return...not just to Mexico, but to other countries as well.

So I have to I a missionary in denial all these years? Did I miss my calling, or is God's time different from my own?

And when I remember those three months, I realize that I am still suffering from culture shock...and still...nothing has changed.

Or has it?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

I just realized that I CAN NOT let this day pass without commenting on this beautiful mystery.

For those who are not Catholic, or for those Catholics who happen to be misinformed (hail, I was one of you in this regard), I will provide a little info.

The Immaculate Conception, contrary to popular opinion, is NOT referencing the conception of Christ, but rather, the conception of our Blessed Mother herself.

No, you cannot specifically find this in the Bible, although there are passages which strongly reference this idea. We know that our Savior broke the chain of original sin which of course, since Adam and Eve, was passed down at birth.

Christ was born without the stain of original sin. How could that be, as he was born of a woman? Simple...God is very good at planning our salvation and so he created Mary and preserved her soul at conception from the stain of original sin. The chain, then was broken, and simple, humble Mary bore the lamb of God without blemish. had a great article on this today.

Our celebration of this Holy Day is not "Mariolotry", although we clearly honor this special woman, the woman so chosen by God to bear and raise his Divine Son. We honor her because God honored her, Jesus honored her, and as we love Jesus, so we love his mother.

When we honor Mary, we do not stop with her for she does not draw our attention to herself, but rather, she points the way to Christ. Through meditation on this mystery, Mary's Immaculate Conception, we see that Mary was chosen, yes, but she did not choose herself. She did not create herself, she could not have prepared herself. Everything about this blessed mystery points to Christ, points to God and God's plan for salvation. We honor Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant, and our understanding leads us on to greater knowledge of God.

In looking at this one mystery, it's very much like climbing a hill, and once we reach the summit, we see the breathtaking valley below us, seeming to go to all the ends of the earth...such is contemplation upon the Immaculate Conception. One cannot just stop with the idea of Mary's conception, but must move on and ponder the infinity of God, the eternity of God, the timelessness outside of our puny minds and understanding. We enter into other mysteries, such as the understanding of the Trinity, the transubstantiation, the communion of saints.

Indeed, although we honor our Blessed Mother, and deservedly so, she stands with us as a guide and gives praise to God for he is good, and his mercy endures forever. She stands as a good mother, bringing our attention to where it ought to be.

Hail, Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with Thee.
Blessed Art thou amongst women
And Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinnners,
Now, and at the hour of our death

Sparkling Grape Juice

From the serious and deep to the inane.

I have recently "discovered" sparkling white grape juice. I picked up a bottle over Thanksgiving and once I tasted it I was brought back to my childhood, remembering the biting yet sweet flavor of the grapes growing on Vera's vine trellis. I've tried the raspberry grape juice (sparkling) variety, too, and found it to be also quite delicious.

Still, though, I haven't really been able to bring myself to trying the alcohol-free wines out there. I haven't had this issue with sparkling grape juice because it doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is...grape juice with carbonation.

But alcohol-free, that's...what? Non-fermented grape juice in a wine bottle...that's really not wine. I have nothing against pure grape juice, but I have to wonder how alcohol-free wine works. How can that be wine? Wine is all about the fermentation, and the sugars, sulfites, boquet, palate...etc. I just don't see how one can have that with the "free" varieties in a bottle.

Maybe I'll just have to try it one of these days.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Speak Lord, your servant is listening

I didn't used to be much of a Catholic at all, but I'm not going to tell that story yet. That's kind of a backstory at this point, classified as "Conversion" or "Reversion", and of course it's related to my vocational discernment, but it is seperate from this story. I will only give a couple details from ancient history:

I remember when I was in Jr. High, a cousin, 5 years my elder, to whom I looked up very much said, and I quote, "All good Catholic women should at least CONSIDER becoming a nun."

She was of course, quoting someone else. Her words, echoing unrecognized wisdom, have reverberated in my unworthy mind at the most unlikely moments.

My initial idea of "considering becoming a nun" consisted of, "Let me think about it". Pause, "The Thinker" pose for a heartbeat or so, and "No."

But then something changed, somehow. I came back to the Church (again, reference to the reversion story I haven't told yet.) And last winter/spring was my first Lenten season as a wannabe-serious Catholic woman.

I resolved to so something special, and a Life in the Spirit seminar was offered. Long story, but I actually experienced a great amount of grace during this course.

In the beginning, maybe 1-2 weeks into the 6 week seminar, I woke up one morning and could not face my job. I was struggling in so many ways and had this sense of unrest I didn't know how to address. I could NOT make myself go out my door that morning, try as I did. I got ready to go to work, trying to hype myself up as I walked my dogs, showered, got dressed, ate breakfast..well..picked at breakfast. I was on the edge of tears, edge of panic. But I wasn't sick, and I needed to go to work.

I talked to God about this. I told him I had to go to work and to take this ridiculous feeling away...but I could not face work. I tried to go out the door and collapsed upon it in tears, the door remaining closed.

I walked upstairs to the upper level of my townhome and called in "sick". I felt like an idiot. In reality, though, I was sick...spiritually...and that's what God was trying to tell me.

I had never spent more than a few minutes in our Perpetual Adoration Chapel, but that morning, I KNEW that's where I needed to be. As I went out the door, something (methinks the Holy Spirit) reminded me that Bl. Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote most of his homilies before the Blessed Sacrament and that I should take a I grabbed a notebook and my Pieta prayer book and fled for the church.

I didn't know what to do when I got there, so I just prayed, with the occasional tears rising behind my lids. I dind't know what was wrong with me. So I told Jesus about that. I felt relief at missing that day's work, ironically, when I KNEW the unscheduled day would put me behind...but I had the sense that I was where I was actually SUPPOSED to be at that time.

I was so confused!

After awhile, I felt a prompting to write, although I had no idea what to write about. But the words flowed, I remembered times when I had denied Christ.

I pondered the Blessed Sacrament, enclosed in the monstrance, a ring of gold surrounding him. I sensed the Lord reaching out to me, offering me...what?

The words in my journal just began to flow from my hand, without thought, almost without perception.

Words came to me that I questioned, but I wrote them down, knowing, as an aspiring writer, not to question inspiration. I could always rip it up later.

But I had to go back later and read the words I wrote:

"Yet here I sit before the Blessed Sacrament in a ring, considering the marriage proposal of Christ."

I stopped writing, shocked. WHAT!?

But that prompt to continue was stronger than ever, so I continued, "Do I accept his grace or will I ultimately walk away, leaving him standing, holding a ring, and promising to be ever faithful? How can I see this and continue to place yet another wound upon his most Holy Sacred Heart?"

I nearly fled the chapel, my heart in my throat. Was I INSANE?

So I wrote in my journal, consciously, well aware, writing out my fear, "So, Jesus, I say yes, but not today. Help me understand and give you an unconditional answer."

I told the Lord "Yes", but here I sit, 10 months later, and all I've discovered is that I'm not very faithful, not very temperate, and rather, very tempermental.

I fled the chapel that day, fearfully...but I was drawn inexorably back. But that, my friends, is for another chapter.

God bless you all!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Discernment Blues

On Day 1 I posted that I am discerning a possible call to religious life and I heard about trials that come to people trying to discern God's will...and WHEW! They weren't kidding! And I KNOW that I have not even remotely begun to experience true spiritual battle

I know that I said too that I'd post my story, and maybe I'll get around to it. Or maybe not...because, you see, I am at occasional work on a novel loosely based upon my life, featuring a character like myself, but much better. So in essence, the novel is about a woman living my life...but doing it better than I am. I don't really want to give the story away, though because, of course, if I were to publish such a book, I would like to be able to sell it and not give it away for free on the internet.

But then again, the liklihood of my ever 1. finishing the book, or 2. publishing said hypothetical book, is next to nil so I don't imagine that my writing about some of it here would really mean anything in the long run.

On the "pro" side, though, maybe part of my story will be like someone else's story, and throug my telling I might offer some unknown person some needed support in the form of lending to them the knowledge that they are not alone.

I know I have read some of the stories of others and recognized similarities to my own experiences, and they have helped me greatly.

But I digress.

My story. My discernment. How many bloody times can I use the words "my" or "I" in one paragraph?

That's the first problem. I'm completely self-centered. Which leads to my first doubt that I'm "Called"...I can't even get over myself. Self-centered nuns aren't really following their "baptismal call"...and if I become a sister or a nun, I want to represent Christ...not myself.

Another problem...I think I've "lost" all my initial consolations, because God is weaning me from them...he got my attention, and got me listening to him...and now I can't even drag my sorry rear out of bed in the dark winter mornings to go to Mass. How would I do getting up so early or earlier most of the year to go pray in the chapel with other drowsy consecrated women? I think I'm addicted to God..but only if he gives me consolations.

But then again, I realize that faith is an act of the will and the intellect, not just a feeling.

And my faith was tested this last weekend, and I feared I lost it all...and had to make conscious effort to believe in God. I have read of Saints who experienced this trial...and Blessed Mother Theresa was one of them. Her life was barren of consolations.

I had to engage my intellect, not my emotions...and I think that trial has passed. I didn't do so well, but then again, I'm still here and I still love the Lord. I guess that's a passing grade. But my attitude isn't so great when I'm confronted by these how could I be called? I don't really have the temperment.

Some days and weeks and months (as current) are like this, and all I can think about is WHY would GOD want ME? I'm NOTHING! I'm the LAST PERSON ON EARTH who should even consider a life of sacrifice for the Church...and yet, whenever I feel or think this way, I happen upon a Bible verse talking about how Jesus came for the sinners.

Well, here I am. A sinner. An imperfect, struggling woman, sinning my way through life just trying to find the road to Heaven...and it's so hard to see in all this secular, worldly darkness.

Everyone, please pray for those who are discerning God's will in their lives. I'm not referring only to religious Vocations, but those discerning marriage, those living singly, those discerning God's will in their jobs, with their children, etc.

Discernment is a bear and a trial unto itself.

God Bless you all. I will offer prayers for all of my known and unknown readers, and ask only that you offer prayers for anyone you know who really needs you tonight.

Adoro Te Devote

Saturday, November 26, 2005

God help this priest!

I decided to drop in and check on my favorite dissenting parish today...a sort of penance, I think. Or maybe just for morbid curiosity. I'll have to talk to my confessor about this. But in any case, I found some very encouraging news. Unfortunately I can provide only one link but I do encourage all readers to glance through this article.

In case you are timebound, I will summarize: St. Joan of Arc parish in Minneapolis, MN, has a new priest, Father Jim DeBruyker. The author of the article sat down with him and "got to know him". Most of it is pretty inane stuff, much of what you'd expect. I did find one quote worthy of this blog, however:

As we were wrapping up our conversation, Jim shared with me one of the technicalities of becoming pastor. In order to become pastor, he was to take and sign the “Oath of Fidelity” and “Profession of Faith”. I found both of these to be interesting, and a bit disturbing, but it gives us an idea of what is expected of Fr. DeBruyker, and all other pastors, in this archdiocese.

Are you curious about what the author, Jeanne Schuam, found to be "disturbing" about the "Profession of Faith" and "Oath of Fidelity?"

As I cannot provide links, I will post the text of each:


I, Father James DeBruyker, in assuming the office of Pastor of Saint Joan of Arc, Minneapolis, Minnesota promise that both in my words and in my conduct I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.

I shall carry out with greatest care and fidelity the duties incumbent on me toward both the universal Church and the particular Church in which, according to the provisions of the law, I have been called to exercise my services.

In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety, I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings opposed to that faith.

I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the whole Church and I shall observe all ecclesiastical laws, especially those which are contained in the Code of Canon Law.

In Christian obedience I shall unite myself with what is declared by the bishops as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith or established by them as those responsible for the governance of the Church, I shall also faithfully assist the diocesan bishops, in order that the apostolic activity exercised in the name and by mandate of the Church may be carried out in the communion of the same Church.

So help me God, and God’s holy Gospels, on which I place my hand, just try as I might, I just can't find ANYTHING troubling about the above text. Anyone else? It speaks of fidelity to the magesterium of the Church, Christian obedience, unity with the bishops, fostering the common discipline of ecclesiastical and canon law...etc. I have no problem with any of this. I just don't get it.

Well, for your furhter perusal, here is the Profession of Fait document:

, Father James DeBruycker, with firm faith believe and profess everything that is contained in the symbol of faith: namely,

I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: By the power of the Holy Spirit, he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in the one holy catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of t he dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

With firm faith I believe as well everything contained in God’s word, written or handed down in tradition and proposed by the church—whether in solemn judgment or in the ordinary and universal magisterium—as divinely revealed and calling for faith.

I also firmly accept and hold each and everything that is proposed by that same church definitively with regard to teaching concerning faith or morals.

What is more, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teaching which either the Roman pontiff or the college of bishops enunciate when they exercise the authentic magisterium even if they proclaim those teachings in an act that is not definitive.

Again, I find nothing wrong with the above. In fact, it looks suspiciously like the prayer we say every Sunday after the homily, and on solemnities, and with the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy...oh, YEAH! It's the CREED!

Why would this be disturbing to a faithful Catholic? Why in the WORLD would the above disrupt the peaceful hues of the aura surrounding a prophetic parishioner of SJA? OH RIGHT! Because they have NEVER BEEN TAUGHT THE FAITH!

God BLESS this priest and God help him...he goes into battle. Let us not let him go alone. Start praying, everyone, for he celebrates his first Mass at hellbound SJA on December 4, next weekend.

Anyone care to meet for a rosary and chaplet prior to Mass? Anyone care to be on hand to give this brave priest the support he will need to uphold the oaths he signed?

Anyone care to offer their holy hours on his and this parish's behalf? I do believe this behemoth can be turned around...but not without prayer, not without penanance, and not without the strong guiding hand of a faithful priest.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Dear Lord, please don't call my name.....

Intro: I wrote this piece several years ago, ironically when mourning the death of the very career this work is about. I wrote it in reaction to the death of a police officer. I actually had a similar work published in a small book in early 2002. Please also keep in mind that this is not about "me", but about "every" police officer. Well...the beginning is my story. Please comment if you have questions about the fact vs fiction. This may be a little long, but I ask you to read through it and then write your own in a similar theme....we all have our stories.....
* * *

I decided a long time ago to become a police officer. My family was shocked and most of them decided that I was insane. They spoke to me as if I were an irrational child, and everyone, EVERYONE, asked me "WHY!?" I neither defended nor explained my choice. The simple reason was this: there was no rational or logical reason in the world for my desire to become a police officer. I knew the risks I'd be taking and I understood my family's concern.

So I prayed, "God, please don't call my name."

I went through the training where they made us run miles and hold the push-up position for what seemed like hours while we listened to our instructor give us his life story. They made us take our turns at leading calisthenics and if we didn't give it our all, they made us do extra. They stuck us in the "gas chamber" and gave us tear gas, CS gas, and pepper spray just to be sure we got our money's worth of education. They twisted our joints and shot at us, and throughout the training, they impressed on us that no matter what happened, no matter how serious the injury, how intense the fear, or how close the panic, we were always to be in control of ourselves and the situation. They taught us the mentality necessary for survival on the streets. And they told us story after story of heroes fallen in the line of duty. They taught us to learn from their mistakes as well as our own and how to not make the same mistake twice. We may never get a second chance.

Throughout it all, I prayed, "God, please don't call my name."

When I was hired with a department I raised my right hand to give my oath to God, my country, my state, city and department, to uphold the Constitution of the United States, enforce the laws, to serve and to protect.

In a room full of collegues, family, and superiors, I gave my oath and silently prayed, "God, please don't call my name."

I wore my brand-new uniform with pride, pinned on my badge, strapped on my vest, and holstered my loaded gun for the first time. As I did so, the full weight of my responsibility settled on my soul. I experienced for the first time the taste of the knowledge that accompanies fear; sometimes "serving and protecting" means taking a life or risking my I prayed, "God, please don't call my name."

I rode in a squad car, patrolled the strets, stopped offenders, served warrants, subpoenas, and took reports. I turned in documents upon which I had written, "status/inactive", knowing that someone's home, life, and rights were somehow violated, but I was unable to provide the solution they needed me to offer. I realized that although I was young and inexperienced, I was suddenly "Authority", and I supposedly had "The Answer". I comforted the grieving, warned the disorderly, and stopped the assault. I restored safety, referred people to other agencies for problems I couldn't fix, and I tracked down runaways and returned them to "caring" parents. I held the hands of children trapped in twisted metal and I helped to save the life of someone's family member. Each and every day I saw both the best and the worst of human nature.

I always knew that I was not immune to the tragedies that strike unprovoked, so I prayed, "God, please don't call my name."

I learned early that because I wore a uniform and a badge, I was no longer my own person. My life was not mine: it belonged to the public and my reputation was relegated to the same. I became the target of hatred, unforgiving glares, an pointing fingers. Likewise I was seen as an expert in the law and the solution to life gone somehow awry. And I felt incredibly inept.

So I prayed, "God, please don't call my name."

I attended the funeral of a fellow officer who had fallen in the line of duty. I gave my condolences to his family and friends and I shared in their grief. As I paid my respects and said my goodbyes to the officer in the casket, I realized that his death was not personal. He was killed because he wore a uniform and a badge. He died for what he represented, not for who he really was. I knew that it could just as easily be any one of the thousands of officers that do the same job lying in that casket. I also knew that no matter who it was, the death would not be any easier to accept. And as the tears came to my eyes I understood the full impact of the identity I shared with this individual.

And I prayed, "God, please don't call my name."

When I flipped on the lights, switched on the siren and screamed through crowded intersections en route to a call of a "man with a gun," and as I risked my life to reach an unknown situation, I knew that I couldn't spend my career, and thus my life, fearing that my name would be called. So I put my life into the hands of the Creator and I did the job that no one else would.

I stood by the closed door, drawing my weapon as, from the other side, came the unmistakable sound of a live round striking the empty chamber of an unidentified gun. I didn't need to see the frightened eyes of the victim to know that I was living someone else's desperate prayer. I knew why I was there.

"God, you already called my name."


And so, dear God calling your name?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Denial of Christ at Christmas

I went to my favorite store today, St. George's Christian Store in Blaine, MN, and one of the co-owner's brought up this very important issue. She was talking about Wal-Mart's website, in which a shopper could type in "Chaunikkah" (sorry, completely butchered the spelling), or "Kwaanza", or anything, and be taken directly to that page. But there was nothing for the keyword "Christmas".

And this is only one symptom, only one incident. Only one company. (A large one. With many influential Christian shoppers who are sick of being dissed.- HINT< HINT )

Amazing, that our culture works so hard to get Christian shoppers to big stores to buy millions of dollars worth of merchandise so that we can properly celebrate the arrival of our King, and yet they do this by trying to blindfold the very reason for the purchases!

Apparently the very name "Christ" must be suppressed at ALL COSTS for fear someone is reminded of the joy of his coming. Apparently the only acceptable usage of the name of "Christ" is in profane speech.

I remember having a conversation with a co-worker last year, claiming to be Christian yet she would not say "Merry Christmas" to someone for fear of offending them! RIDICULOUS! If someone is offended by "Merry Christmas" then they had better go underground for the next couple months. It is this fabled "offended" person who has the problem, not those of us who celebrate the dominant holiday.

Which one of you would be offended if a Jewish person wished you a happy festival of lights? Who would be offended if a Muslim offered you a sincere holiday greeting referencing one of the holy days they celebrate? Wouldn't you simply rejoice that they have the courage to share their faith and LIVE it lovingly? Who started all this "I'm offended" trash?

These secular idiots, though, really don't have a clue in reality. If they realized that the word "holiday" as in "Happy Holidays" comes from "Holy Day" they may turn inside out and spontaneously combust. I'd like to say "good riddance", but since even they are children of God, I suppose it's more charitable to simply spend this season in offering prayers and penance for their self-damned souls.

When I consider this, then I have no problem saying "Happy Holidays", but this year I think I may, just to be counter-cultural, start "mispronouncing" the phrase and wish everyone I meet a "Happy Holy-Days!".

If I get fired, so be it. If it is a crime to wish someone a happy holy season, then I guess I deserve punishment to the full extent of the law. I should be so blessed.

It's time for those of us who claim to be Christian to talk the talk and walk the walk. It's time to stand up for what is rightfully OUR culture, call Jesus the Christ Child our King, proclaim this at the top of our lungs, put the HOLY back into the Holy Days and remind the culture of death that only the light of Christ will lead us all home.

We live in a culture which touts "religious freedom", and sure, in comparison to China, we have "religious freedom". But I argue that any culture which suppresses the majority in their Christmas greetings suppresses God himself, and suppresses the very freedom they pretend to uphold. I would agree that we have MORE freedom than the martyrs in China and in other places aroudn the world, but slowly, slowly, our religious freedoms are being stripped away. It is taboo to wish someone "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" and subjects us to written discipline if a customer calls to complain to a manager that we did so. But I argue that this is my right to express my religious beliefe and proclaim the TRUTH of the season in sincerely wishing each and every person I meet a MERRY celebration of the birthday of the one who SAVED us. I argue that we are protected by the First Amendment just as much as the ultra-right-wing press, and we moreover have a GOD-GIVEN DUTY to spread the TRUTH AND LIGHT OF CHRIST!

This is a battle, my friends, and we are the chosen warriors. What we do individually may be small, but in the great battleground for God, the war is won through the perseverence of all.

It's a bit early for this, but just to make my final point, as we enter this blessed season, I wish you all, from the bottom of my heart and the center of my soul a HAPPY HOLY-DAYS SEASON AND A MERRY CHRIST-MAS!

May God Bless you and yours and may your Thanksgiving turkey and time with your loved ones ignite in you an awareness of every blessing you have ever and will ever receive.

In closing, let us remember the most holy name of our Savior:

Blessed be God
Blessed be his Holy Name
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man;
Blessed be the name of Jesus
Blessed be his most Sacred Heart
Blessed be his most Precious Blood
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete

Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception
Blessed be God foreverBlessed be her glorious Assumption
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse
Blessed be God in his angels and in his saints


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia

When I was a little girl, I remember reading these books. I was completely absorbed, and when they ended I had a sense of loss like no other...the story had ended and left me aching for more. I did not understand the Christian themes at the time, but I did know a good story when I read it. I was an avid reader and "Chronicles of Narnia" has always been one to remember.

Then I grew up, and I, too, forgot about the world on the other end of the wardrobe and the lantern in the snow. I forgot about the Lion. I forgot about the Witch, and through my years into adulthood, I forgot this beautiful world.

Then I saw the initial teasers for the movie, and I prayed, "Dear God, do not let Hollywood ruin this movie", and already, I fear that they have. I read an article in our local paper regarding this last week. They are taking a "neutral" viewpoint, and from what I read, they have completely discounted the obviously Christian themes and diminished them entirely. One of the producers said something to the effect that C.S.Lewis were not so much Christian writers as they were writers who were after a good story.

I nearly fell out of my chair and had a tantrum on the floor. But as that does not glorify God very well, I just remained where I was and for once, I kept my mouth shut. That does not happen very often as you can well imagine.

About a month ago I purchased a copy of the entire volume in one book unabridged. I have since lost myself in the pages, and when I have gone to my weekly (and even temporary) Eucharistic adoration visits, I have seen the Lion of Judah. I have also seen the Lamb, also shown very clearly in the books. I have come to better understand Jesus through the eyes of C.S. Lewis....his love, his unerring discipline, his faultless judgment, and ultimately, the salvation he so freely gave in spite of our own willfull dissentions.

I love this Magnum Opus and I will read it over and over even as an adult. It does us good to see the world through the eyes of a child...isn't that what the Lord told us to do? To become like children? C.S. Lewis is an extension of God in his epic work, and while I read his books and touched by the overt Christian themes, I approach the movie with trepidation. From the reports from the mouths of the producers themselves, they have done EXACTLY what C.S. Lewis feared...they have taken Christ out of the work and minimized the very symbols and themes the author emphasized the most.

And of all the underhanded things, they are marketing this secularized work specifically to Christians.

I will go see the movie, and I will be praying mightily that through their own misguided secularized minds they will have actually missed the most important symbols and they will have ended up, through thier babboon-like meanderings have actually brought the Truth to light.

I will reserve further commentary until I have seen the movie for fear I will spoil the story for those who either have forgotten what they once read, are reading it now, have never read it, or (God forbid) are waiting for the movie.

As always,

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Catholic Identity

I went to Mass this evening, which is something I rarely do. I tend to prefer the Sunday morning Masses, and at my parish, there are 4.

Tonight, they played one of my favorites, "Blest Be the Lord", and I believe Schulte is the composer..I should look that up. I realized that in the great Haugen/Hass debates that this particular song is often credited (incorrectly) to them so many middle aged Catholics tend to abhor it. It has always been one of my favorites.

When I was a child, I attended St. Mary's Catholic Church in Byron, IL, the only Catholic Church in town. I will never forget the deep red carpeting, the beautiful stained glass windows or the large crucifix which characterized our little church. It was a small church building in a small town, and as such, we did not have a pipe organ. I didn't really care because there was a piano. I loved the hymns sung with piano the best.

Some days, though, a small group sang at Mass, and they used guitar and piano, and one of their favorites was also "Blest Be the Lord". I will never forget how their voices rang out in praise, in tune, and encouraged us all to sing. I would leave and sing this song all day long, praising God in my little girl's voice. My favorite line was "I shall not fear the dark of night nor the arrow that flies by day". (Psalm 91). I was of course, being a little girl, afraid of the dark and this song helped me feel unafraid.

In that little church, I recieved the Catholic rites of passage...the sacraments of Confession and First Communion. There was not a lot of fanfare with the first, but the latter sacrament, for all little boy and girl Catholics, this is akin to a "coming out party" or maybe a Bar Mitzvah (I think I spelled that wrong). It's A REALLY BIG DEAL. My godparents came all the way down from Minnesota and I got to wear my pretty white dress all day long. Unfortunately, Mom did not want me to wear the veil all day, nor did she want me to put it over my face like a bride, lest I get the meaning of the sacrament mixed up or something. (I still have no idea why she would not let me play a little...after all, both the dress and the veil have long since disappeared so I don't even have them as keepsakes anyway).

There is a cultural component to being that why dissidents find it so hard to leave? We grow up amidst the loving rituals and fanfare, and so as we grow and rebel, we tend to take our liturgy and worship for granted, and rather than focusing on the content, we identify more with the cosmetics. We remember the days and the attention and the first reception of sacraments, but we forget, over the years, the lessons which accompanied our rites of passage.

I love the Church and I love being Catholic. I have come to appreciate, in my reversions to the faith, the deep spirituality of the Catholic faith, and the infinite ways of expression. I love the Third Orders, the options in religious life, the opportunities for Perpetual Adoration, etc.

When I was a child, I behaved like a child and I grew up in the Church raised as a child should be raised. And when I became a teenager, I rebelled into young aduthood, becoming the prodigal daughter...but the cultural hold of my faith held on to me..there was an identiy there. So this prodigal daughter came home. And now that I am an adult, I have put away the childish things and I have come to find myself here within the fold of the Church Christ founded, within his sheepfold, an adult, and all the responsiblity upon my shoulders to proclaim and witness what the Lord has done.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"Catholic" Feminists continue their spin. Mpls-St. Paul

Now it's in "The Catholic Spirit", our archdiocese newspaper. I wil not quote the whole thing this time as I believe it's tiresome for my 3 readers. I will respond to selected quotes...but there is so much wrong with this...where do I start?

I'll start with a few facts:

* The "Listening Sessions" are all about feminism and women looking for power and authority, not for service.
* The Archbishop, Harry Flynn, did not approve these sessions. (He told me this directly)
* Feminists ALWAYS operate with an agenda of power-seeking.

The gist is this: the feminists of the archdiocese set up "Listening sessions", better known as "public moderated power-seeking temper tantrums" which were not approved, nor did they ever seek approval. They went to different, mainly heterodox-leaning parishes to present their questions, and since there was no approval, not much publicity. The result was this: the only people to attend were the like-minded dissidents. Can you predict the result? Let me give you a few excerpts from the archdiocesan newspaper:

“Many people don’t know Catholic leadership that is not a priest,” one woman said. “We don’t know how to acknowledge anyone but the priesthood.”

First of all the priest is a servant by definition. He has the authority of God in his role and stands in the place of Christ...who was servant to all. "Leadership" in most parishes has to do more with the councils and commissions. My belief is that the person who made this comment is not very involved in his or her parish or she would know this and know the parties involved. Personally, I acknowlege the priest as "Father" and just say "Hello Mr. or Mrs. or First Name, how are you today?". It generally does much to break the ice.

“So even though we heard people tonight, and the results will be published,” he said, “there’s no guarantee that there will be some follow-up, or that there will be some acknowledgement that there’s pain.”

Do you know it doesn't hurt so much when you stop fighting God? I can almost guarantee that the Archbishop will acknowlege the results, but he is already aware that the "research" is skewed. Therefore, you are done before you begin. Of course, that has more to do with the Bible quote about the gates of Hell not overpowering the Church.

“Men are being cheated by the way women are being treated,” he said. “All I hear is men preach. It’s a disenfranchisement for women . . . the whole feminine perspective. It undermines what women have.”

I attended a dissenting parish for awhile and I ached to hear the priest talk about the readings of the day. I was so THIRSTY for the WORD! Yet this woman was up there, an Education Director and she would not SHUT UP! I didn't care about statistics...I read about those in the paper. I was there to hear the Word of God as told by one of his direct representatives on Earth, and instead I got a lesson in statistical sociology from a flapping feminist. We don't have religion for the purpose of sociology...we attend Mass for those few moments of Heaven on Earth when GOD himself comes to us as described in the book of Revelation.

In the final moments, the group at St. John dreamed of what roles they’d like to see women play.

“All roles — any roles that men have,” one woman said. She said she’d like to see the church function as “a circle with varying roles, rather than top-down.”

Hmmm...."a circle with varying roles". Hmm...this is a pagan symbol, not a Christian Symbol. God is the ultimate patriarch and he makes the rules. We all answer to him. So what this woman is saying is that she wants to be a pagan. Maybe the better answer would be to study Catholicism and understand the heirarchy. Or she could follow the made-up religion she already follows.

“Someday, I would like to see women priests because we are made in the likeness and image of God,” another woman said.

So are the men. What's your point? Are men made from swiss cheese and halibut? The MALE priests stand IN PERSONA CHRISTI, and a woman simply cannot do so...but we can stand in the place of Mary and point the way to Christ. I like that role. I don't think I'm good at it though. The Feminists keep standing in the way.

Added one of the men: “If I can dream, I would like to see our women administer all the sacraments as much as any of the men can.”

Do you understand the sacraments? Have you recieved them? Do you know that ANYONE can baptize a baby or someone in an emergency in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and this baptism is binding? This is a sacrament. A womman cannot consecrate the hosts...she does not have God-given authority. As a woman, I refuse to ever "confess" to a woman and would run far away. Women have not been given this authority and it does not come from man, but from God alone. Take it up with him and stop complaining.

I'll continue to follow this. Although I have to admit, I may need to start a new blog regarding Minneapolis-St. Paul dissent. It seems to be my recent pet-project.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Anne Rice Comes Home

I've been watching this closely. I used to read ALL of Anne Rice's stuff...even the stuff she wrote under her other name. I no longer own those books. The writing was fine...but the content was actually just another facet of my sinful lifestyle and attitudes of the time.

I did especially love "Cry to Heaven" due to the vivid descriptions of life surrounding the operas, of the streets of Italy, of the culture, the often I could almost hear the music. Beautifully written, captivating...but I digress. I did not love the flambouyant homosexuality woven throughout that book and most of her others, and while it disturbed me, I have to say that since I was surrounding by liberal Minneapolis "gay pride", it was somewhere along the lines of an itch I just couldn't reach. So I ignored it.

Finally, though I had to stop reading.

I was happy to read that Ms. Rice is coming home and is done with her "goth" work. As I've moved on, so have likely many readers, and we are happy to see this turn of events in her life. I do hope she does our Lord and Savior justice in this difficult and speculative topic regarding his unknown early life.

There are a few things that concern me, however...her use of the gnostic gospels, for one, and some of her "not quite home yet" attitudes.

I will get to that, but I would like to discuss her conversion a bit--that which she revealed a little.

Rice's new burst of creativity stems from her return to Roman Catholicism -- though she seems a most unlikely recruit. Leaving aside those past novels (the more erotic ones appeared under pseudonyms), she quit church as a teen and never looked back for decades. Her late husband was a convinced atheist; her son is a gay activist

Something similar happened to me. I had been experiencing writer's block, and then I rediscovered my faith...and all the projects I had been working on fell flat. Those that did not found a new "Genesis" with the addition of spiritual/ predominantly Catholic themes. I never "quit church" so much as "stopped going", in a similar manner of that mused by the character in "Office Space". I just decided "not to go anyomore" but I really didn't want to "quit".

But some critics thought her vampires' angst reflected the author's spiritual restlessness

I always thought the same thing and I think that Ms. Rice's work unwittingly helped me to identify some of my own spiritual longings and realize that I really did still believe and needed to return to my faith. I needed and really did believe in God and salvation. (Incidentally, I have to say that Memnoch the Devil offended my sensibilities somewhat).

Going back to the initial quote, I am not surprised to learn that Ms. Rice's (Stan, was it? God rest his soul) late husband was an athiest and her son is a gay activist. Clearly, she remains conflicted about her own return to her faith and the fate of her son. No mother wants to believe that her progeny are on a road to Hell paved by rainbow flags, and rather than to submit to God's authority on this, she is seeking reconciliation on behalf of her son.

"I'll do my best on the unresolved questions." Among these are her church's ban on women priests and opposition to gay sex. She's convinced both will vanish eventually.

I have to openly admit I understand Ms. Rice's concern with this, both due to her own background and that of her son's. Many women do not understand why women cannot be ordained. I would actually direct Ms. Rice to observe those who are attempting this and to note that those women are seeking power, not to serve. They are disobedient, not emulating the humility of Jesus or his Blessed Mother. Regarding opposition to gay sex, I would direct Ms. Rice to "Theology of the Body" by JPII or to Christopher West's simplified explanations of this great work. I am sure her eyes would be opened if she read it in detail and with an open mind.

Although, I have to say that if I were in her shoes I would be fearful of reading such a work. What if he is right? What if my son is wrong? What an agonizing position to be in. The Rock and a hard place, quite literally. My heart goes out to this woman, facing such a struggle. We can only place her and her family in the Lord's care and have confidance that he will overcome this great spiritual battle for her.

In returning to one of my opening concerns, I do worry a bit about Ms. Rice's dissenting opinions on Church teaching, and pray that they will not appear in her new line of work. She will quickly lose the majority of the faithful who may turn to her work if she goes off that very deep end. She really has an opportunity here, and hopefully a very blessed opportunity. I do look forward to reading her new work and hope that I will not be as disappointed in this as I was about a book about the life of Mary Magdalene which was wrought with Gnostic anti-theology.

We will see what she has in store for us and if this work is anything as vivid as her previous, we may find ourselves able to better understand and place ourselves into the world Jesus inhabited when he walked this earth.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Marked Money- another ploy by homosexual activists

I located this link today-the plans of our not-so-friendly homosexual activists:

Minnesota churches will soon see a sign of protest in collection plates.
Gay Catholics and their supporters plan to mark their donations to send a message to let the church know who exactly is giving them their money. Cash donations will be marked with a pink triangle around the pyramid on the back, while checks will have a notation in the memo field.
“If you want our money, then support us,” says parishioner Tom Degree. “They need to know how much they are receiving from GLBT congregants.”
Degree and others are concerned about several positions the Catholic church has taken recently, such as banning gay priests.
“I think that’s a bright idea,” says Rachel Dykosky. “I think they should let them know where the money is coming from. The church needs to know who is supporting them.”
Others think the protest is too political, and doesn’t belong in church. “It’s incomprehensible to me that they would do that. I don’t see any logic in it,” says Florence Pope.
Degree thinks the search for marked money will be similar to the church’s search for gay members in seminaries.
“This is gay money,” degree says. “If you don’t feel comfortable taking it, throw it away.”


Unbelieveable. They really don't get it do, they? They apparently think that by a show of dead presidents they can change Truth.

"If you want our money, then support us".

Well, Mr. Degree... 'bout...NOT! If you want to worship the Lord, then come to the Catholic Church. Turn away from your hedonistic desires. If you want support in turning away from sin, you can find the Confessional or make an appointment...usually recommended after living a life wallowing in sin. If you want "support" in the form of endorsement for your sexual practices contrary to consistent Church teaching, contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ, then look towards Satan. He'll be glad to offer you all the support you want.

Oh, wait...he already did. That's why you're doing this. Instead of behaving like children of God, which you are, you are behaving like spawn of Satan...which spiritually, you have chose to become.

Funny how you think that the Church should change to accomodate your sinful ways. Your money cannot purchase your salvation. Your humility, as yet to be exercised, CAN.

Keep your money. The Church doesn't need it. The Church existed long before homosexual activism in the American arena. Mother Church existed long before the Rainbow Sash movement, and the Church existed long before you were even a twinkle in God's proverbial eye.

Mark your money. That will make it easier to return to you. You are not forced to come to do this of your own free will and you are welcome. Hopefully you will allow the Lord to change your hardened heart. You engage in acceptance of disordered practices and possibly practice them yourself...and you do this also by your own free will.

The Church does not exist from your own overflated sense of pride in what you and your community do with your private parts. The Church does not define you by your practices. You have done this to yourselves, and even though salvation is offered to you freely, you spit upon the one who bought it for you.

You have chosen a sinful path, you have chosen a path to Hell, and now you are trying to make the Church lead you there. On Judgment day, you will stand alone and you will have to explain your actions...not the Church, not the Pope. You, alone will have to account for your persecution of the Church and of the Lord. You alone will have to defend your reasons for demanding the "right" to change Truth to fit your own personal desires.

Do not look to the Church to change Truth. It is you who needs to change. It is you who needs to turn from sin and embrace the love Christ is trying to give you. It is you who have turned from God and made sex and money your diety.

Do not expect the Chruch to lead you to Hell when you are already on that road.

The Church does not answer to the homosexual community...she answers ONLY to GOD. Have you met Him? Have you noticed his only begotten son, JESUS, who was born of a VIRGIN and died a horrible death on the cross for your sins? For all of our sins?

The Church was born out of the side of Christ, and she answers to Christ. She carries on the morality and Truth instituted by Christ over 2,000 years ago. She does not bow to the almighty dollar, marked or not marked.

People have and still are dying to uphold the teaching of the Church, all over the world. They are martyrs for God and the Truth of his Word. Yet you seriously think that your pittance of marked dollar bills is going to effect a change in moral law. Hilarious.

A vote does not determine Truth. The cool thing is that we don't have to vote on IS, it WAS, and it will ALWAYS BE. Truth is ETERNAL. And in the good words of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, "Truth is not determined by a majority vote."

Truth is not determined by "gay money", either.

So put your "gay money" away, and if you don't accept the teachings of Jesus Christ, then walk away. Come back when you're ready to accept Truth Eternal.

Jesus is bleeding for you, for all of us. Won't you for once look at him, embrace him and do as he bids us all? "Go...and sin no more."

Monday, October 31, 2005

Call me Sister Peter

I love Halloween. I love the costumes, and I love the solemnity of Mass.

This year I nearly didn't dress up, but happily, I came across some wonderful items of note on the history of the celebration of Halloween...and I realized that to not dress up meant a lost opportunity for subtle evangelization.

Let me explain.

Today, just for today, I was a nun. I could have passed for either a Carmelite (without the creame colored cape), or I could have passed for a Poor Claire. I considered going as St. Therese, the Little Flower..I have a chubby face, too (I think so), but I think my 30-something lines belie my lack of innocence...that, and the fact that the reference to flowers and the crucifix in my arms would have been lost on my audience.

I realized today, just before the "costume parade" of the 6 or 7 of us with enough dubious courage to dress up, that I needed to meet people where they are at. What did I really want out of this day? Was it about me and how "holy" I am as a Catholic? Or is it about reaching out, educating, and finding a point of identification? Could I maybe extend a fun view of the Church from within, using a symbol which is serious and real and heartfelt...but somehow help people see the reality? The humor?

In August I attended a wine and cheese party at a fellow Catholic's home, and she had found some napkins displaying a nun and a glass of red wine. The caption: Sister Mary Merlot. There was a whole line of "Sister Mary Merlot". I thought it to be hilarious and my friend thought so too, but she was actually terrified that she would offend me. Why? Because she was one of the first people I confided in, revealed my heart to regarding my search for a Vocation within Mother Church.

We will never know the intent behind the person who created "Sister Mary Merlot" and "Sister Claire Chardonnay" items...was it to ridicule the Church? Was it just another comedic character people might want to read into? Does it matter? What matters is our respose...can we have a little clean fun with the images and see the humor as we celebrate our fellowship in the Catholic faith? Definitely!

So today as I stood in line, I realized that a woman (also a faithful Catholic) was introducing the various characters. I didn't know what to say. To say "Carmelite Nun" Or "St. Therese" or "Poor Claire" was kind of a dud...I needed to keep the audience. So I blurted out, "Sister Mary Merlot!"

She loved it and so did the audience.

I even got to clutch my Bible, kneel, and pray...right out in public, and it was not out of place! (Actually, my prayer was, ""God, I don't mean to offend you...please don't let me make too much of an idiot of myself or you!")

I did not win the costume contest, but I was not out to do so. I was really out to just share my faith in a fun, approachable way. Consider this: I got to publicly be in a not-so-subtle way the Catholic I may be inside. I got to wear a blessed St. Benedict Crucifix, I got to show my Rosary all day and I got to get an idea of what it means to be veiled all day long.

Normally, in our secular society, it is not PC to be "out" about religious beliefs....but I got to do it today. And people loved it and loved my costume. It did not show in their votes, but in their visits to me in my cube.

I have to admit, though...I denied Christ today...dressed as his spouse, I denied him. A co-worker asked me, "What made you want to dress like THAT!?"

Inside, something (the Holy Spirit?) was nudging me strongly to reveal to her, a non-practicing Catholic, that I was discerning a Vocation. I was not really sure I should do so or that I was ready for my co-workers to know, so I told her simply, "Well...I'm Catholic...I know some Sisters...." I have also been struggling, not sure that I am called, thinking that may have been an why go public with something which is patently false? So in the end, I just let her laugh at me and I laughed with her. She called me "Special".

What a cop-out. I'm ashamed of myself. Sure, publicly I called myself "Sister Mary Merlot", a parody of a nun, but when really given the opportunity to witness to the power of Christ, I took a weak position. I denied Christ. You should call me Sister Peter.

Pray that I will never be "Sister Judas".

Later on, though, I spoke with another co-worker, the same one who was introducing characters. She is a devout Catholic and we spoke at length about the faith. I did reveal to her my discernment...and to witness this was an unknown co-worker...and I know he heard. He even looked at me funny later when he saw me.

I just smiled and realized what I should have done when I had denied Christ.

I also considered the weight of the veil, even the dishtowel/ cloth remnant I used, and throughout the day it was a reminder to me as to who I serve. I realized how unworthy I am to be the spouse of Christ.

I realized that if it were for real, the silliness would have to be gone...the humor could remain, but as the spouse of my King, I would have to be more dignified. I represented him today and I don't think I withstood the test.

But then again...God may have used me today to open doors and I pray that he did. I pray that others approach me now and that something I say or do as a result of today leads them to Christ.

I pray that those who see nuns as being stereotypically strict can now look upon them and see them as people full of joy and humor. I pray that those who saw me today get the courage to share their own faith with others, even in a silly way just to open up lines of communication.

Today I got to say "God Bless you" to people publicly, and I did so in 2 languages (Dios te bendiga), as one was from El Salvador. And I meant it and trust that God did indeed bless them.

I got to be a public Catholic today.

I hope I remember and find the courage to be a public Catholic every day of my life, instead of "Sister Peter", denying Jesus even as I wear the costume of a beloved spouse.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A little comic relief - embarassing moments!

I just thought that with all the heavy topics lately (and perhaps in general) that it's time for a little story about personal embarassment. As much as I would love to display the embarassing moments of others, it would be somewhat uncharitable, so it's best that I just reveal my own.

When I began college as a freshman, I was very much driven in the world of law enforcement. As such, I became a Police Reserve Officer in my college town. It is a volunteer position and encompasses handling "events" like dances and the summer festival, and the occasional ride along. Most of the Reserves in the town were college students/aspiring Police Officers like myself.

When I was "hired", the Sergeant who oversaw the group and actually founded it, gave me a very stern lecture...the kind given to every new Reserve. He told me that the uniform is an official uniform and when wearing it we were to conduct ourselves in a very professional manner as we were representatives of the city...etc. I took this very seriously as this was, so I thought, my future career, and maybe my future department. Not a time to make a mess of things.

Anyway, I did not know the town well and as it was developed along a river, there was no real "grid system". So I knew one route to the station, and was at a loss when it was closed for construction on a Thursday night. I was on my way to my first ride along.

So I took an alternate route, following another vehicle which also seemed destined for the downtown area. When we arrived at a particular street, I recognized the name so realized I should turn at that point.

I had a green light, and in my distraction and a little nervousness at my first uniformed ride along, I was not entirely an attentive driver.

You see where I'm going with this.

Of course, there was another car coming in the oncoming lane. Of course, in my distraction I had turned in front of them and recognized this too late for either of us to avoid the resultant collision.

After impact, I sat in my car, facing oncoming traffic on the street I was turning onto..and gripping the steering wheel in a panic, I repeated "OH *@& Oh *&& !" while remembering the speech from the Sergeant. Of course, I realized that this reaction was unproductive.

I kind of wished the accident had killed me so that I would not have to face the consequences of this disaster.

But I got out and learned that the other parties were ok and that I was not responsible for their deaths..only for thier wrecked car. Which, as it turned out, was a borrowed car.

So there I was, very conscious of my "POLICE" uniform, and I walked across the street to the nearest house with lights on and I knocked at the door. Two children arrived first and through the big glass window they cheered upon seeing a Uniform at their door.

The smiling man of the house answered the door and grinned even more widely when he saw the travesty on his corner.

I explained that we'd had an accident and needed to call the police. He grinned more widely and invited me in. I stood uncomfortably in the doorway of his foyer as he dialed 911 and reported the accident. He joked with the dispatcher, suggesting that since I was a Reserve, "Who ever comes should cuff her!"

When he hung up he asked me what had happened. I told him, "I was making a left turn..and I got hit."

He smiled knowingly and probed, "Was it your fault?"

I hung my head. "Well...yeah." What else was there to say?

He laughed and wished me well. I found out later on that he was pretty much the biggest defense attorney in town.

So I went back across the street to meet the officer who had already arrived. He was gathering the info from the other driver and directed me to pull out my own information. I went into my glove box for the insurance card, and when I approached him again, he told me to have a seat in the squad.

I was still in somewhat of a fog, and for some reason, even knowing better, I became convinced that I was being I approached the rear seat. I did not deserve to sit in the front, uniform or no uniform.

He actually stopped me and directed me to the front.

So in my fog, I obeyed and spent a few moments inspecting my swollen and bleeding knee. I felt like an ass.

He joined me and took my information from me. As he wrote up whatever he was writing up, I stared at my beloved first car, the car I washed inside and out if it had a speck. The car that represented my independence. The car that enabled me to go to work so I could pay for school, and drive to the police station for experience in order to be successful. My poor, sweet, ugly, wrecked car.

I asked him if he could recommend a shop to bring it to. I didn't know what to do.

He told me they had to impound it due to the location--had to get it off the street, but advised me to move it ASAP so as to prevent major storage charges.

I asked him then for a ride to the station for my shift.

He kind of chuckles and said, "Yeah, I guess you'll need one!"

Then, after a pause, and not looking at me, he said quietly,

" were assigned to ride with me tonight..."

I actually thought I might die right then and there. What are the odds of this? A town full of perfectly good police officers, and here I was with the one to respond to my disaster.

But he went on,

"...and the worst part of it is..."

YIKES! There was a WORST part? You mean we hadn't experienced that yet!?

"...I have to write you a ticket."

Now, please understand, this officer was actually one of the nicest gentleman one could ever meet. He sincerely felt bad about all of this, and told me that if I didn't want to ride with him he would understand. He would just ask the Sergeant (our Reserve Sergeant was the shift commander that night) to reassign me to someone else.

I did agree to ride with him because, of course, it wasn't personal. I could see that he felt bad and I could not deny that I was the cause of the whole thing, anyway.

That Christmas, at our yearly dinner, the new Reserves were introduced to the "old", and I had the great noteriety of being "The only Reserve to total her car on the way in to work!" I believe I still hold that dubious title.

Anyone else have a story to share? Any 3 of you who stop by on occasion?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

To be valued as a woman

I was watching “Pretty Woman” for the umpteenth time tonight, and it struck me…the pull of this movie is not the belief that this fairy-tale could come true…but it is in the timeless beauty expressed in what it means to be feminine and in the ultimate respect between a man and a woman.

I have come to realize that I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO BE A WOMAN. All the time spent by my Mother in teaching me how to be a woman, a simple woman…all for naught. The world around us, dominated by “feminists”, has actually destroyed the meaning of femininity. They have taught us that we do not need doors to be opened for us, we do not need to dress in such a way so as to accent our natural beauty, unless doing so accents only our “curves”, the better to ensnare an unsuspecting man. Feminists have taught us to be predatory in “love”, and to use only our outward sexuality in order to obtain power over others...both men and women.

A few years ago, I was in a relationship with a man for over 3 ½ years, and I really thought I loved him and wanted to marry him. Then I got a new job and the company sent me to another state for corporate training. There, I met some southern gentlemen from Georgia, and they changed my life.

No, there was no romantic interest…one was happily married and pining after his family, and the other was engaged and looking forward to his upcoming marriage. But just the same, even amidst all of our verbal jousting, companionable ribbing and friendly insults, they treated me like a lady. They opened doors for me, they pulled out my chair for me at appropriate times….and when they spoke of their loved ones, I could see the love in their eyes.

They helped me to realize that what they displayed for their significant others was not displayed towards me even when I was in the presence of the man I thought I would marry. It was after 2 weeks in the presence of these men that I found the backbone to end the relationship with the man who had no respect for me.

And now, just the other day, I went to dinner with a man from New Orleans, another southern gentleman. He opened the car door for me, he opened the restaurant door for me and in all things, he treated me like a lady. We had wonderful conversation and there was great respect there. I have to ask…do men respect women only if they are raised in the South?

This man, also, is only a friend…and yet, he still saw it necessary to recognize my femininity.

I apparently owe a huge debt to all you southern gentlemen for having learned your manners so well. I owe a debt, no doubt, to your mothers…because I was never treated so well by a man brought up in the North, whether as a date or as a friend.

So that brings me back to “Pretty Woman”. I watched in fascination as Vivian struggles to first purchased the appropriate clothing…how many times have I entered a store in my jeans and flannel, only to feel the same way? Then she went to the hotel manager, expressing her dismay in that she didn’t know how to act at a fancy restaurant. And the respect shown to her, a woman of the “lowest” caliber, still recognized her femininity. There she sat, at the table, attended to by men who served her as she tried to learn how to be a lady. Boy, can I relate!

She next went to the fancy restaurant, and when she arrived, she almost immediately stood to go to the ladies’ room. All of the men present stood as well, in respect for her. This scene, in particular, reached me….those men knew nothing of Vivian, and yet they stood in her presence out of respect for her very person…because she was a woman.

Personally, I wouldn’t know what to do if all the men in my presence stood up when I did.

I saw Vivian, the street prostitute, treated like a queen…and isn’t this why this movie is a cult classic now? Because we women are tired of being ignored. At heart, we still want to be treated like queens...and in turn, treat our men like kings. Manners are a two way street, and is it any surprise that our society shows no respect to either gender anymore? There is no respect anywhere…not from children for adults, for the elderly, of men for women and women for men. It really says a lot.

How has it come to the point that we woman do not know how we should be treated? The rabid feminists tell us it’s insulting to have a door opened for us…but I argue that it’s insulting to be disregarded when I would hold the door open for anyone, man or woman, rather than allow it to be shut in their faces. The rabid feminists tell us that we women are really men without the exterior equipment and with extras which are not needed…and therefore deny our very reason for existence.

Yet, somehow, in spite of all of this, Hollywood, for once, has managed to bring about a move which does enhance rather than degrade femininity. I realize that some would look at this movie and see only decadence and degradation...but I would argue that there are lessons to be learned.

Being a woman is not about being involved with a wealthy man. It is not about the silverware or the expensive cocktail dresses or is about respect for one another.

Why has our culture so lost the ability to understand and carry out actions which acknowledge respect for another person? Why has it taken me to my 30’s to understand that I have no idea how I ‘m supposed to be treated? Why am I not the only one, for I know plenty of women who feel the same way? I would like to hear from you! Men and women, both! What has happened? Why do we not know how to treat each other with respect?

And to all you Southern Gentlemen who have taught me though your friendship what it means to be valued as a woman...thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

God bless you all,

Sunday, October 02, 2005

How Can We Serve?

We the faithful must discern the mark of true feminism from the mark of the deceptive beast which so often leads people away from Christ under the term "feminism".

The feminist movement began long ago, and in the beginning it was a good thing. It sought to help those in power understand that women are not second class citizens. The founderesses of the feminist movement understood the dignity of life and the dignity of women. They were pro-voting for women and pro-life always.

They must be rolling in their graves now.

Somehow, their intent was hijacked by the evil one and now the term "feminist" is actually more appropriately "femi-nazi" and rather than furthering the dignity of women, they have undermined the dignity of all life. They are anti-God, anti-Church, anti-life and all about power and how they can obtain it. They are angry, rageful and thankfully...graying. They will die soon, but their legacy of poison will be felt forever and will always leave a black mark upon world history. They will die in obscurity, but their words straight from the maw of Hell still echo and have corrupted so many it is as we speak calling down upon us the full fury of the Heavenly Father.

And we deserve it for allowing ourselves to be led so far astray. We the "faithful" have remained silent and allowed our churches, Catholic and all Christian denominations, to be overtaken in many places by radical femi-nazis.

Protestant Christians, please do not cringe and react too harshly; please hear me out because we are on the same side in this battle.

As the world knows and the media constanly harps, the Catholic Church has consistently proclaimed that abortion is murder, contraception is immoral, and homosexual unions are abhorrant. The descriptive adjectives actually fit the acts interchangably. Choose your own adjective, but understand that all of the above have, at their core, an end to life. And all of the above are advanced as "good" in the eyes of the rabid femis.

Protestant Christian women, some of your denominations took votes and "decided" that is was "ok" to use contraception. Some Catholic disregard the official teaching of the Catholic Church as they themselves have also fallen prey to the secualar idea that if it is popular it must be healthy and it must be OK. I submit that some of your deniminations and many Catholic women have been mislet into thinking that Truth is subject to popular vote.

I offer alll women the following reasons as the partial reason as to why contraception is immoral:

Some of you who use contraception currently for its intended purpose may not know that it is an abortifacient. Sure, it prevents ovulation...and in this act, you are refusing to cooperate with God; you are denying yourself this grand opportunity to co-create life with the Divine Creator and you are making yourself the authority in your life. When you do this, you are breaking the first commandment and you are making yourself God. This is contrary to ALL Christianity.

Furthermore, contraception in all forms changes the uterine lining as a secondary defense against the formation of life; if, in fact, an ovum is released and penetrated, and therefore an embryo formed with the DNA designes of a total human being, that baby will not be able to implant. The pill, by this effect, prevents that little life from taking hold and bonding to the mother so as to grow and live so as to praise God for eternity.

Instead, due the impossibility of implantation, that little life is "flushed" quite literally, and so countless "liberated, feminist" women have flushed their children into various sewers all over the world.

This is the result of current day "feminism". Women have been misled directly into infanticide, and nearly the entire world believes that it is their "right" to do so.

I just love how we created beings have decided that we have any "rights" at all in the face of the Creator who actually ALLOWS us the ability to co-create with his grace.

I sense a lot of the capital sin of PRIDE in this mess, fellow women.

Now before you get the idea that I'm some holier-than-thou churchlady, let me tell you that I have used the pill and for all I know, I have killed my children. I am not a saint, nor have I ever been, so please take this information in the spirit lead anyone who reads it to the truth, from one who has lived and believed the lie.

So that is what feminism has has made women believe that we are the greatest creatures on earth and that we "get to" make the ultimate decisions of life and death. Just look what this has done to our culture. Our country is not a good place anyomre, and it is no longer blessed by God because of our sin.

True feminism is beautiful; true feminism does not seek power, but understands that the Blessed Mother is the epitome of feminity.

True feminism welcomes life and seeks to become united with God's will, not exert our own.

True feminism asks not, "Where can we demand and take hold of power", but rather asks in all humility, "Where does God want me to serve?"

True feminism does not demand; it seeks and requests and waits in patience.

True feminism is not rageful; rather it is gentle and loving.

True feminism is not an advocate for Satan; it is an advocate for Jesus Christ, his mother and will assist the Blessed Mother in crushing the head of Satan.

True feminism is powerful through the authority granted by God alone; true feminism understands that all life is a gift and power is summed up well by the suffering Jesus who stated to his judge, Pontias Pilate: "You have no power over me than that given to you by God."

True feminism knows that ALL power comes from above, and the power of sexuality, the power to create life does not originate with our pride and our will, but rather, from the very love of God the Father of us all.

True feminism teachs us to be humble in the presence of God, it leads us to embrace Christ, to kiss his bloody wounds and prostrate ourselves in the face of his enduring grace. It teaches us that even when we fall we should get up and keep going and praise the Lord with every step that we have the opportunity to bleed right along with him on our own journeys.

The power to create life is not to be confused with the authority to deem it appropriate or not; it is a grace given especially to women to carry out the true suffering arising from the act of love between a husband and a wife. It is the same love which Jesus took to the cross on behalf of us all. As Jesus labored in his salvation of souls, mothers to be walk that same path in a unification of the triumph of life over death. As mothers labor to give life to their children in an act of death to herself (even unto the literal death), Jesus labored in similar birth-pangs, so as to give life to the world which consistently falls into sin.

Men cannot fulfill these steps as God did not give them the grace of this biology, and so I submit that women are already inherently more powerful than men; why, then do women constantly try to seek the insubstantial and transient "power" which is only effective by the confines of the created world, rather than to embrace the true feminine gifts God has already given through his infinite grace?

And so in all humility, I ask you all, both men and women, to bow your head in prayer and submit your entire will to the Lord, and join with me in praying:

Lord Jesus Christ
I offer you everything I have
Everything I am
Everything I was
and everything I will ever be
And I ask you to help me submit completely to your Divine Will in all things.
And I ask you Lord to remove from me all that holds me back from fulfilling
all that you ask me to do.
And I ask that through the intercession of Mary our Blessed Mother
that we can all give you the same fiat she proclaimed;
Let it be done unto me according to Thy Will.